How can we prevent and heal from something we can’t even describe?

Understanding grooming should be a key, mandated focus of education for families, schools, law enforcement and all other social services. It should also be a key focus of survivor
In the case of almost all violent crimes, we have the knowledge and language to explain incidents themselves and their impacts.

Yet child sexual abuse still mystifies most of us, including—and often especially—survivors. Understanding grooming sadly isn’t a societal priority.
This is part of the reason it remains so prevalent. Perpetrators capitalise our ignorance and confusion. They insidiously psychologically manipulate and control their targets as well as bystanders to create ecosystem in which abuse can thrive in plain sight.
When I reported to police, I had never heard of grooming. I was still a child, and still very much in its paralysing grip. As such, I withheld so many crucial details because I didn’t think they were relevant. In reality, they were some of the most calculatedly evil elements.
Grooming was never deconstructed at any point during the reporting process, nor during therapy. It was not until many years later that I thought to actually look up the term. It was equal parts validating and confronting.
Finally I could put a name to all of the baffling things I’d seen and felt, but I also realised how much I had inadvertently protected my abuser because of my inability to articulate the premeditated coercion. CSA is a crime of which physically violent acts make up just one part.
In reality, CSA is an entire system of torture.

Everyone in the community must understand this in order for us to move forward, and most importantly, to stop it from happening.

This is the main goal of The Grace Tame Foundation, launching on the 5th of December. Stay tuned.

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More from @TamePunk

8 Nov
The Harmony Campaign:

This Friday at 1:00pm I will be addressing the Meeting of Attorneys General to officially table our campaign for harmonisation of sexual assault legislation.

This is a profoundly rare opportunity.
Across the 8 jurisdictions that govern the issue of sexual assault, we currently have 8 different sets of legal definitions and 8 different sets of differently named offences which incur varying punishments.
There is no logical argument why we should have such glaring inconsistencies, nor why justice should look different in different places.
Read 12 tweets
3 Nov
Over the last decade since I reported my experience of child sexual abuse, I’ve been called a whore, a home-wrecker, a liar and scum. Repeatedly.

This is despite the perpetrator possessing 28 files of child abuse material and it being widely known he had prior victims.
The public vitriol has been amplified beyond belief this year on social media. Many years ago there was a photo taken of me holding my middle finger up as a joke. It’s now being circulated on Twitter to discredit me, often accompanied by defamatory claims that I’m a drug-addict.
It would be fair of me to respond with legal action. But I know what it’s like to be threatened. I also know what it’s like to hold so much negativity that regrettable words are inevitably said; mistakes are made, which fall on a spectrum and warrant proportionate accountability.
Read 6 tweets
3 Nov
Last Wednesday, Christian Porter, Andrew Laming and Peter van Onselen sent simultaneous defamation threats to author Gemma Carey.

Gemma is disabled, an expectant mother and also a survivor of child sexual abuse.…
The power imbalance between 3 of Australia’s most powerful men and a disabled expectant mother—who’s also a survivor of grooming and child sexual abuse—is extreme. 

Gemma has previously spoken out about alleged sexual harassment by Laming on a flight to Sydney.
Read 12 tweets
25 Oct
Today Scott was asked why he “failed to make every effort to properly consult” me on the National Strategy to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse

He deferred to Ben Morton, whose answer was carefully spun.
It simultaneously made the government look like it values my input very highly and me look uncooperative.

Here are the facts:

⁃ On the 3/3 I was informally introduced to Rebekah Kilpatrick from the National Office of Child Safety at a café while I ate bacon and eggs.
This was mere moments after I exited the National Press Club ≠ an informal meeting. It was an opportunistic introduction.

- On 13/5 Morton called me to discuss budget figures that had already been decided, and my goals for law reform ≠ a formal Strategy consultation/drafting.
Read 10 tweets
24 Oct
Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Week has ended, but our work is far from done.

In lieu of another stage of grooming, today I’m doing something I don’t usually do—giving space to hatred. Why? Because it can be constructive; it helps explain why many people fear speaking out.
It’s often said that the experience of child sexual abuse comes with a life sentence, for many reasons. Prolonged psychological manipulation can permanently damage the developing human brain, physical trauma is stored in our cells and memories stay with us.
On top of all this, victim-blaming attitudes and perpetrator sympathisers persist. Abusers and apologists aim to keep you exhausted by making you justify yourself and correct the record repeatedly. Both survivors and whistleblowers are relentlessly subjected to this treatment.
Read 5 tweets
23 Oct
On this penultimate day of Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Week, we’ve arrived at the last but most defining phase of grooming:

6. Maintaining control. Perpetrators do this by striking a perfect balance between causing pain and providing relief from it.
Abusers are at once the villain and saviour, hence why children find it nearly impossible to explain or escape from—let alone prove—the psychological harm they cause. They threaten and degrade then soothe and praise, thusly gaslighting targets into cyclical cognitive dissonance.
The first time he showed himself naked to me, my abuser said, “I’ll lose my job if anyone hears about this.”

After raping me on the floor one day I asked him if he thought I was fat. He told me I “could do with some more exercise”. But he also told me I was beautiful sometimes.
Read 4 tweets

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